X-Mas Trees Pining for Homes

Santa & Sons sell Christmas trees at Valley until Christmas Eve.

By Leilani Peltz, News Editor

Approaching Valley College from Burbank Boulevard, people usually expect to see parking lots filled with vehicles of students and staff who are currently in classes. For roughly the next month, a different sight is gracing Lot G. One-quarter of the student lot is filled with homegrown Christmas trees, just waiting for families to come and bring them home to decorate for the holiday.

Mark Rohlfs, owner of Santa & Sons, resembles Santa himself with his grey beard and red shirt. He first opened the business in 1983. The company is family-owned and operated and is based out of Oregon where the trees are grown.

“I’m the farmer,” Rohlfs said. “I grow the trees. It’s a fun job, growing Christmas trees.”

Valley is the only retail location for Santa & Sons, as the farm mostly deals in wholesale.

Four varieties of fir trees are sold: Noble, Nordmann, Grand, and Douglas, and each type has its own unique appearance and qualities. The company also sells wreaths and mistletoe, but Christmas trees are its specialty. Costs of the trees start at $19.99 and go up, depending on the kind and the height.

“I’ve been growing trees for over 30 years,” Rohlfs said. “I started with other guys in 1976 and opened my business in 1983.”

Santa & Sons was located in Studio City in 1993, Sherman Oaks in 1996, and then moved to Valley in 2001. Some of their customers were born the same year that the company first came to the valley.

“A lot of the kids have been coming to us since they were babies,” Rohlfs said. “We’ve had families who have been coming to us for 20 years, and their kids have grown up coming to Santa & Sons.”

Delivery to homes and businesses is available, or the employees can bring the tree out and tie it to the top of the vehicle.

The tree lot has a cozy feel to it, has a sweet, citrusy smell and is both community and family-friendly.

“We’ve really gotten to know the families,” Rohlfs said, “and getting to see the kids again every year is the best part—no doubt about it. The joyfulness of the children is absolutely sincere.”

On Dec. 7, Santa will be visiting Santa & Sons in the afternoon.

For Valley, Santa & Sons will have Student Tuesdays and offer 20 percent off to those who come in with their Valley student id card.

Santa & Sons is open seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and will remain open until Dec. 24. To learn more about Santa & Sons and the stories behind each of their trees, visit the website at www.santasons.com.

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